Letters to the Editor – Response to Zane Womeldorph

Zane-

As a Christian, when I first started reading your column in Sept. 18’s paper, I started to get a little miffed that you were bashing Christians. Then, I realized that I was judging based on the first few sentences.

I stepped out of the “he’s probably some liberal, atheist, hippie” box into the “I might relate to what he is saying” box. And as a Christian, I have to say that I 100 percent agree with much of what you wrote.

By damning 99.9 percent of CSU students to hell and preaching legalism rather than the love and relationship so central to the teachings of Jesus, these people are merely the same reason people have foods they dislike, such as asparagus.

Assuming you think Christianity is good for you as asparagus is good for you, if someone tries to tell you to eat asparagus or you will go through life contracting horrible diseases, tumors, baldness, etc., it won’t change the fact that asparagus would taste horrible.

On the other hand, if you know how to cook asparagus, which may actually differ based on the person then it tastes great. And, not everyone likes it prepared the same way, but not every way is necessarily wrong. The point is, you are eating the asparagus and getting the nutrients.

Just like Christianity, not every belief is dependent on heaven or hell, some are so legalistic. And legalism pushes so many people away.

Anyway, thanks for not bashing Christianity as a whole and at least saying, “Hey, just be nice to us, then maybe people will listen.”

Breanna Barrier is a senior economics major.

Just to be clear: I don’t agree that the tactics of some Plaza evangelists. On some points, Mr. Womeldorph and I are in agreement.

My reason for writing is that Mr. Womeldorph used these tactics as an excuse to attack anyone whose religious beliefs disagree with his.

It’s plainly visible in the wording he chose. To say these evangelists are “Proclaiming the infallibility of ‘the only book they’ve ever read’” and “extolling the ‘twisted logic of creationism’” or that they “want to ‘stifle’ any sort of ‘intellectual enlightenment’” is to spit on anyone who shares their religious viewpoints — or, more specifically, anyone that doesn’t share Mr. Womeldorph’s.

Mr. Womeldorph is attacking the beliefs and believers directly, not just the evangelists. He’s painting them as ignorant, warped and repressive for… what? Not backing a scientific theory that he feels is sufficiently supported? Not mirroring his personal religion?

If Mr. Womeldorph truly wanted to demonstrate “intellectual enlightenment” on this issue, all he had to do was omit or rephrase a few simple statements. He didn’t. Instead, he employed his personal Plaza to actively insult members of his audience.

All these other evangelists, even the angry ones, at least have “altruistic intentions,” even if their incredible impatience and hot-headedness have disguised that. In Mr. Womeldorph’s sermon, I see only “preaching … predicated by self-gratification,” an exploited opportunity for cheap shots at those who don’t adhere to the evangelist’s personal religious creed.

Cole Buckton is a senior environmental engineering major

Once again, I find myself dismayed by an editorial in the Collegian. In Zane Womeldorph’s “Preaching…” the outrageous claim is made that free speech on our campus has been replaced by religious proselytizing. This could not be farther from the truth.

In fact, an exciting new Plaza event took place that was completely ignored by this publication. Sept. 17 marked the 226th anniversary of the signing of our country’s Constitution, and in order to celebrate, the student organization Young Americans for Liberty selected a location right in the heart of the so-called “Jesus Junction” to encourage passersby to write anything they wanted on our Free Speech Wall.

We managed to fill the entire wall in a matter of hours, with students relishing the opportunity to proudly exercise their First Amendment rights.

I did, however, observe an interesting phenomena. Many students, although willing and excited about the idea of Free Speech, found great difficulty coming up with the words to properly express themselves. Might I suggest that years of conditioning by peers and thinly-veiled slam pieces have taught that any expression that could be unwelcome is infinitely offensive and, as such, useless? If we are going to protect Free Speech, we must do so in earnest.

Yes, the preachers on the Plaza might be annoying to some. But to dismiss them outright denies the valuable service they provide — a daily reminder of how the First Amendment still has relevance and power in America today.

Antony Brown is a junior electrical engineering major

Read Zane’s original column on the Plaza here.